Forecasting Climate, with Help from the Baobab Tree

In El Niño retrospective, lessons from Senegal

In a three-part series for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, graduate student Catherine Pomposi relates her experience in Senegal during the 2015 El Niño. She explains the 2015 El Niño forecast and its climate impacts in Senegal, as well as current efforts to better understand climate in the Sahel. The Earth Institute’s State of the Planet blog provides an overview, and the full series is published on IRI’s Medium page.

In addition to discussing the science behind climate forecasts in the region, Pomposi relates her experiences at climate services workshops with farmers and Senegal’s meteorological agency. Through these workshops, Pomposi has learned more about the kinds of climate information that may prove useful to farmers. She’s expanded her research interests to seek answers to some of the questions asked by farmers, such as when the rain will begin and how long the rainy season will last.